What I read today;
Romans 9; Matthew 9; Isaiah 9; Job 9; Joshua 9; Genesis 9
We live in curious times, don’t we? With the advent of the internet and cable TV, we have more spiritual information than ever before. Preachers from every denomination, spread their messages across the globe. Some of them profess that if you love Jesus and tithe to their ministries that you’ll find financial freedom. Some of them tell you to sell your possessions and go live in camps. Others profess other, non-christian, teachings as means to find peace in your life. Sometimes, even the well-wishing Christian ministers on the air will send messages that promote the idea that we have to work our way to God for our salvation. They promote the idea that to be saved you have to live a certain way, worship in a certain way, dress like the crowd, and behave like the crowd.
The messages are noisy and sometimes hard to discern.
When Jesus was walking through Israel in Matthew 9 vs. 35-38, he saw the crowds, and he knew they were harassed and confused. Roman religious practices were flooding into the area. Combine that with eastern religions and the crossroads of the middle east was inundated with a wide variety of religious thought and practice.
Worse than this, however, was the fact that the religious elite had moved into an area of works righteousness. You had to follow all the rules strictly to be saved. They made it nearly impossible to be sure of your salvation. They put rules above the relationship.
That’s what Jesus was talking about when he said;
“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”NRSV
Our Christian walk needs to be about our relationship with the Savior. We need to fall at the feet of the one who will save us from our sins and then guide us through this life as we grow in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. We need more ministers and individual Christians who are prepared to take this message to our society that has become confused and harassed by religious systems that are more rulebook and ritual than disciple-building.
Will you be the one to bring the good news to someone today?